A Procession of Corpus Christi


1 To put an end to our sins, which were diabolical


ABBREVIATIONS: MED: Middle English Dictionary; MP: Minor Poems of John Lydgate, ed. MacCracken.

The Procession of Corpus Christi is described by Shirley as “an ordenaunce of a precessyoun of the feste of corpus cristi made in london by daun John Lydegate.” Although Shirley’s headnote does not make clear whether it was the procession that took place in London or the writing of the poem, the verses are usually taken to refer to a procession in that city (but see Gibson, “Bury St. Edmunds, Lydgate, and the N-Town Cycle,” pp. 60–61, who notes that late medieval Bury had both an interludium and a procession of Corpus Christi, and Clopper, Drama, Play, and Game, p. 164, who thinks the verses are “a sermon, or ‘process,’ centered on imagined figurae or pictures of them” not a description of a procession).

The first stanza, which functions as a kind of introduction, announces that “Gracyous misteryes grounded in scripture” shall be “In youre presence fette out of fygure” and “declared by many unkouthe signe,” and the final stanza repeats that “theos figures” were “shewed in youre presence,” suggesting that the verses describe or usher in a series of tableaux of mostly biblical figures and Fathers of the Church. The remaining stanzas take up one figure each, giving a brief description and exhorting listeners to reflect on the meaning of each figure (“considerthe in youre ymaginatyf,” line 10) the better to appreciate the significance of the feast day. Some of the stanzas contain what may be instructions for or descriptions of the figures and their tableaux (e.g., Ecclesiastes with his castle enclosed by a red cloud; Zacharia holding a censer), but it is difficult to say much about what the procession, if indeed that is what it was, looked like. The verses end with a note stating, “Shirley kouthe fynde no more of this copye,” but whatever is lacking was probably brief, since the verses seem complete as is.

If the verses were linked to a London procession, the most likely candidate is the annual Corpus Christi procession of the Skinners’ Company, which is referred to in Skinners’ 1392 Company Charter and continued into the sixteenth century (A. Lancashire, London Civic Theatre, p. 277n43). Stow claimed that the procession passed through the main streets of the cities and included the skinners carrying wax torches, with more than 200 clerks and priests singing, followed by sheriffs, the mayor, aldermen, and others, accompanied by minstrels outfitted with wings (Survey of London, 1:230–31). A. Lancashire (London Civic Theatre, pp. 59–60) suggests that Stow may have been right in his assertion that the Skinners were connected with the Clerkenwell/Skinners’ Well biblical play referred to in late fourteenth- and early fifteenth-century records, and that their involvement turned at some point in the 1390s into their annual Corpus Christi procession. While Schirmer thought that the Procession was probably commissioned by Lydgate’s monastery (John Lydgate, p. 175), A. Lancashire (London Civic Theatre, p. 126) raises the stronger possibility that the Skinners at some point asked Lydgate to record their procession, a possibility that gains additional weight from the fact that the Skinners’ fraternity of Corpus Christi had links to royalty and nobility, including Lydgate’s patrons Henry V, Henry VI, and Humphrey, duke of Gloucester (see Lambert, Records of the Skinners, p. 54). If the Skinners did make such a commission, it must have been before 1430, the completion date of Trinity R.3.20 in which the Procession appears.

A Procession of Corpus Christi survives in Trinity R.3.20 (1456?), pp. 349–56; Harley 2251, fols. 224b–227b (a manuscript based in part on R.3.20); and Stow’s copy of R.3.20, Additional 29729, fols. 166r–168r; R.3.20 is the base text for this edition (MP, 1:35–43), collated with Harley 2251.

running titles: A procession of corpus christi by Lidegate / A procession of corpus / cristi / procession of corpus / christi feste by Ledegate / processione of corpus / cristi feste; not noted in MP.

headnote MED, n. 10(a) defines ordenaunce as preparations or arrangements, but the meaning seems closer to “device” or even pageant; compare Henry VI’s Entry, which Shirley describes as ordenaunces and Lydgate’s reference to the pageantry of the 1432 entry as including Noble devyses, dyvers ordenaunces / Conveyed by scripture . . . (lines 66–67).

1 feste. I.e., the Feast of Corpus Christi, established by the Church in the early fourteenth century. The feast commemorates the institution of the Holy Eucharist and falls on the first Thursday following Trinity Sunday (anywhere from late May to late June). Corpus Christi was an important force in the development in the fourteenth-century of English cycle plays; see Mervyn James, “Ritual, Drama and Social Body.”

3 to governe us. While addressing his audience with the familiar and informal “you” and “youre,” Lydgate also liberally uses “us” and “oure” to imagine a religious community into which he inserts himself as a member.

6 In youre presence fette out of fygure. The meaning of this phrase is open to interpretation; it may refer to images or likenesses (fygure) brought forth (fette out; see MED, fetten v. 3) or, as Clopper believes, figures in the technical sense of figurae “demonstrated” for the audience (Drama, Play, and Game, p. 164n67). The references to Figure and liknesse (line 53) and divers likenesses (line 218) along with the insistence that these “figures” will be explained and shown in youre presence (lines 6 and 217) would seem to point to actual representations of some sort.

10 Seothe and considerthe in youre ymaginatyf. A commonplace of meditational instruction; Clopper (Drama, Play, and Game, p. 164n67) notes that Lydgate stresses the role of memory in this meditation. Compare lines 17 (in youre inwarde entente), and 55 (oure inwarde sight).

11 Marginalia: Adam.

18 Marginalia: Melchisedech. Melchizedek, who in Hebrews 7:3 is called is a king “without father or mother or genealogy,” was seen as a type of Christ. In Genesis 14, he brings bread and wine to Abraham when Abraham returns from his battle with the four kings who besieged Sodom and Gomorrah; see the painting of the “Meeting of Abraham and Melchizedek” (1464–67) by Dieric Bouts the Elder.

20 Steyned in Bosra. Literally, “dyed red in Bosra,” a reference to Isaiah 63:1–7, where God returns from battle in a blood-stained robe; the passage was often interpreted as applying to the crucified Jesus.

25 Marginalia: Abraham.

29 Latin Marginalia: ponam bucellam panis / Genesis xliiie. [And I will set a morsel of bread / Genesis 18(:5).]

33 Marginalia: Isaake.

35 Latin Marginalia: In pinguedinis terre et rore celi. “In the fatness of the earth and the dew of heaven” (Genesis 27:28).

38–40 These lines refer to the Virgin Mary. The Rose of Jericho marked the spot where the Holy Family stopped to rest during their flight; in the Middle Ages, roses became associated with the Virgin, whose name (Maria) has five letters.

41 Marginalia: Jacob.

42 Latin Marginalia: pinguis est panis Christi / Genesis xl. ixe. [The bread of Christ shall be fat / Genesis 49(:20).]

49 Marginalia: Moyses.

50 With goldin hornes. The Latin Vulgate’s mistranslation of the Herbrew word qaran in Exodus 34:29 as “horns” rather than “rays” led to the Christian representation of Moses with a ram’s horns.

51 arche. When Moses received the Ten Commandments, he also received instructions to build an ark in which to carry them; it was covered with gold and two cherubim were placed on top.

57 Marginalia: Aaron.

65 Marginalia: David.

73 Marginalia: Ecclesiaste.
73–74 Ecclesiaste . . . / With cloose castel besyde a clowde reed. These lines seem to be instructions for or a description of the image of Ecclesiastes.

81 Marginalia: Jeremye. On the significance of depicting Jeremiah as carrying a chalice with “Greyne in the middes,” see Aston, who notes that Christ was sometimes linked to grain, milling, grinding, flour and bread, especially in Corpus Christi rituals (“Corpus Christi and Corpus Regni,” p. 28).

89 Marginalia: Ysayes.

97 Marginalia: Helyas.

105 Marginalia: Zacharye. As in the case of the image of Ecclesiastes, this line seems to be an instruction for or a description of the representation of Zacharia.

113 Marginalia: Baptist.

121 Marginalia: John Evangelist.

128 Latin Marginalia: is est Jesus. [He is Jesus.]

129 Latin Marginalia: Marcus.

135 Latin Marginalia: hoc est corpus meum. [This is my body.]

137 Latin Marginalia: Matheus.

145 Latin Marginalia: Lucas.

153 Latin Marginalia: Paulus doctor gencium et apostolus [Paul was a teacher of men and an apostle.]

156–60 These lines refer to stipulations regulating who may receive the communion Host (i.e., only the pure). See 1 Corinthians 11: 27–29.

161–62 Latin Marginalia: Magister historiarum [Magister historiarum (“master of stories”) usually refers to Peter Comestor, who appears later in the procession (see note to line 201 below); the gloss here should read Magister sententiarum, i.e., Peter Lombard (c. 1100–60), the scholastic theologian and author of four books known as the “Sentences.”]

169 Latin Marginalia: Jeronimus. I.e., St. Jerome, the translator of the Vulgate.

172–76 Here and in lines 210–16, Lydgate stresses the orthodox doctrine of transubstantiation (the belief that the substance of the bread and of the wine changes into the body and blood of Christ in the celebration of the Eucharist).

177 Latin Marginalia: Gregorius.

185 Latin Marginalia: Augustinus.

186–92 Whan Cryste is ete . . . / remedy geynst al oure olde grevaunce / Brought ine by . . . an appul smale. I have been unable to locate the precise passage in Augustine, though the idea is akin to On Forgiveness of Sins and Baptism, where we are told that newborn infants bear the sins of Adam and “will not have life if they eat not the flesh of the Son of Man” (ch. 27); see also ch. 33 on remission of sin by drinking Christ’s blood, or On the Psalms 49.3–6, where he argues that mankind is redeemed from the sins of Adam and Eve through the Eucharist.

192 byting of an appul smale. A reference to the story of Adam and Eve’s eating of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden.

193 Latin Marginalia: Ambrosius.

194 langage laureate. Lerer (Chaucer and His Readers, pp. 47–48), noting Lydgate’s tendency to use the French proclitic article before vowels (e.g., Lenvoy), suggests that sometimes laureate is probably l’aureate and that here the phrase should be langage aureate.

196–200 See Ambrose’s De sacramentis, Patrologia Latina 16.

201 Marginalia: Maistre of storyes [i.e., the French theological writer Peter Comestor (died c. 1178), author of the Historia scholastica, an important source of biblical history and Christian legend; see Harley MS 1704 (Halliwell, Selection from the Minor Poems, p. 268, note to p. 102)].

204 pytee pleyning. The lines suggest that the host contains within it a pietà, or image of the Virgin Mary lamenting the death of her son.

209 Latin Marginalia: Thomas de Alquino.

218 By divers likenesses you to doo plesaunce. While arguing that “shewed” (line 217) need mean nothing more than “presented” or “demonstrated,” Clopper, Drama, Play, and Game, pp. 164–65, admits that “diuers likenesses” may suggest “something more tangible.”

220 This bred of lyfe. I.e., the Eucharistic wafer.


ABBREVIATIONS: A: Additional 29729 (Stow’s copy of R.3.20); H: Harley 2251; M: MacCracken’s 1934 edition; T: Trinity R.3.20, copy text for all of the disguisings and mummings except Bishopswood, and for Bycorne and Chychevache, the Procession of Corpus Christi, and Of the Sodein Fall of Princes.

1 nowe for to magnefye. In T, nowe is missing but there is an insertion mark for it; A reads for to magnefye nowe; H omits nowe.

2 Feste. H reads Now fest.

3 guye. M’s emendation, following A; T reads guyde; H reads guy.

5 t’enlumyne. H reads to enlumyne.

7 many. H reads many an.

9 more. H reads the more.

21 er. H reads that.

23 takethe hereof. H reads take herof.

27 that. Omitted in H.

30 Sette. M reads Set.

33 Yssake. H reads Isaac; A reads Ysake.

35 and. M transcribes as aud.

36 the Olly. H reads the holy; A reads holly.

37 Gesse. H reads Iesse.

40 Whos. M’s emendation; H reads Whas.

45 eseyne. H reads I seyne; A reads esene.

62 Crists. M reads Cristes.

68 and. H reads that.
venqwysshed. M’s emendation; H reads venqwysshde.

70 victorie of. H reads victor with.

71 Philisteys. H reads the Philistes.

79 M mistakenly claims H reads falseth.

82 B’avisyoun. H reads Be avisyoun.
hevenly. H reads hevenly and.

89 Ysayes. H reads Isaye (M: I saye).

91 that. Omitted in H.

96 oure. M reads our.
were. H reads was.

102 lenkethe. H reads length.

104 strenkethe. H reads strength.

106 swoote. M’s emendation, following H; T and A read swete.

107 This line follows line 112 in T, but the lines are correctly numbered a b d e f g h c; H and A follow the order of T; A adds the renumbering, but H omits it.

119 stinten. H reads stynte.

120 oure. M reads our.

126 O. H reads On; M’s note “of the S.” (which suggests that an unnamed manuscript S has the variant of the) is unclear to me.

133 ful blessed. H reads blisful.

139 holy. Omitted in A.

141 nuwe. H and A read the newe.

142 shal. M reads schal.

157 doome. H reads brede.

158 I mene. M adds I, following H; I omitted in T and A.

175 This. H reads This is.

176 circumcyded. A reads circumsised.

177–84 In T, written a b e f g h c d and so lettered; A corrects according to the lettering, while H does not.

183 Omitted in H.
medisyn. In a later hand in T.

185–92 In T, written a b c e f d g h and so lettered; A corrects, but H does not.

190 ternal. H reads eternal.

198 Recounseylling. H reads Reconsilyng.

199 mathe us mighty. H reads makith us myght.

201 Maistre. H reads Maister; A reads Master.
notable. A reads notabell.

202 Holding. A reads holdinge; H reads holdyng.
chalys. H reads chalice.
sonne. A reads sone.
clere. H reads cliere.

203 Ooste. H reads host; A reads oste.
aloft. A reads alofte.
gloryous. H reads glorious.
comendable. A reads comendabell.

204 pytee. H reads pitee; A reads pite.
pleyning. H reads playeng; A reads pleyninge.
cheere. H reads chiere.

205 caste. A reads cast.
shewing. H reads shewyng; A reads shewinge.

206 compleynte. A reads compleynt.
pytous. H reads pitous.

207 dethe. H reads deth.
deere. H and A read dere.

209 hoolly. H reads holy; A reads holly.
called. H reads callid.

210 hie. H reads high; A reads hye.
sawghe. A reads sawethe; H reads sawgh.

211 ooste. H reads ost; A reads hoste.
sunne. A reads sune; H reads sonne.
about. A reads aboute.

212 oon. A reads one.
parfyte. H reads parfite.
unytee. H reads unite (M: uynite); A reads uynte.

213 gloryous. H reads glorious; A reads gloryus.
liknesse. A reads likenesse.
Trynitee. H reads Trynite; A reads Trinite.

214 Gracyous. H reads Gracious; A reads Gracyus.
beo. H and A read be.
comended. H reads commendid.

215 feyth. A reads faythe.
parfyte. H reads parfite.
charitee. H reads charite; A reads charyte.

216 byleeve. H reads beleeve; A reads beleve.
comprehended. H reads comprehendid.

217 theos. H reads there; A reads thos.
figures. A reads fygures.

218 likenesses. H and A read liknesse.
doo. H and A read do.

219 Resceivethe. H reads Receyvith.
devoute. H reads devout.

220 This. A reads Thys.
bred. H reads brede.
lyfe. H reads lyf.

221 Egipte. H reads Egipt.
worldely. H and A read worldly.

222 Youre. A reads Your.
i>restoratyf. A reads restoratyffe.
i>celestyal. H and A read celestial.

223 graunt. A reads graunte.
suffysaunce. H reads suffisaunce.

224 aungels. A reads angelles.
sing. H reads syng; A reads singe.
everlasting. H and A read everlastyng.

Colophon of. H reads for.
Print Copyright Info Purchase

A Procession of Corpus Christi

  [And now here folowethe an ordenaunce of a precessyoun of the feste of Corpus Cristi made in London by daun John Lydegate. (see note)













































This hye feste nowe for to magnefye,
Feste of festes moost hevenly and devyne,
In goostly gladnesse to governe us and guye,
By which al grace doothe uppon us shyne;
For now this day al derkenesse t’enlumyne,
In youre presence fette out of fygure,
Schal beo declared by many unkouthe signe
Gracyous misteryes grounded in scripture.

First, that this feste may more beo magnefyed,
Seothe and considerthe in youre ymaginatyf
For Adams synne how Cryst was crucefyed
Uppon a crosse, to stinten al oure stryf.
Fruyt celestyal hong on the tree of lyf,
The fruyt of fruytes, for shorte conclusyoun,
Oure helpe, oure foode, and oure restoratyf
And cheef repaste of oure redempcioun.

Remembrethe eeke in youre inwarde entente
Melchysedec, that offred bred and wyne,
In fygure oonly of the sacrament,
Steyned in Bosra, on Calvarye made red,
On Sherthorsday tofore er he was ded,
For memoryal mooste sovereyne and goode,
Gaf hees appostels, takethe hereof goode heed,
His blessid body and his precyous bloode.

Chosen of God this patryarch Abraham,
Example pleyne of hospitalytee,
Recorde I take, whan that the aungel came
To his housholde, wheeche were in noumbre three,
In figure oonly of the Trynyté,
Sette to hem brede with ful gladde chere,
Of gret counforte, a token who list see,
The sacrament that stondethe on the awter.

To Yssake God list His grace shewe
Lyneally adowne frome that partye,
In eorthes fatnesse, and in hevenly dewe
Frome the Olly Gooste descending to Marye;
That braunche of Gesse God list to glorefye,
This Roos of Jherico fresshest on lyve,
Blest among wymmen, Luc doothe specefye,
Whos name is fygurde here with lettres fyve.

Jacob saughe aungels goyng up and doune
Uppon a laddre, he sleeping certeyne
Lowe on a stoone for recreacyoun,
The whete glene crowned above the greyne,
Forged of golde an Hoost thereinne eseyne;
This Crystes bred, delicyous unto kynges,
With goostly gladnesse, gracious and sovereyne,
Gayve forreyne damage of alle eorthely thinges.

This noble duc, this prudent Moyses,
With goldin hornes lyche Phebus beemys bright,
His arche so ryche, his vyole for t’encresce,
With the manna to make oure hertes light;
Figure and liknesse, who so looke aright,
This goostly manna being here present
To us figurethe in oure inwarde sight
A symilitude of the sacrament.

This chosen Aaron bering a liknesse,
In hoolly writte as it is clerly founde,
Of trewe preesthode and goostly parfytnesse,
This innocent, this lambe with large wounde,
The feonde, oure enemy, outtraye and confounde,
Is token and signe of Crists passyoun,
Spirituel gladness and mooste fer to habounde,
This day mynisterd til oure reffeccion.

Thou chose of God, David that sloughe Golye,
With slyng and stoone called the Chaumpyoun
Of al Isrel, as bookis specefye,
That sloughe the bere and venqwysshed the lyoun,
Figure of Jhesu, that with his passyoun
And verraye victorie of hees woundes fyve
Brought Philisteys unto subjeccyoun,
Whan Longeus spere did thorgh his herte ryve.

Ecclesiaste, myrrour of sapience,
With cloose castel besyde a clowde reed,
That same token by virgynal vydence
Sette in Marye flouring of maydenhede,
Which bare the fruyt, the celestial bred,
Of oure counfort and consolacyoun,
Into whos brest the Hoolly Gooste, tathe heede,
Sent to Nasareth gracyously came doune.

Beholde this prophete called Jeremye,
B’avisyoun so hevenly devyne
Tooke a chalyce and fast cane him hye
To presse owte lykoure of the rede vyne
Greyne in the middes, which to make us dyne,
Was beete and bulted floure to make of bred,
A gracyous fygure that a pure virgyne
Should bere manna in which lay al our speede.

This Ysayes, in token of plentee,
A braunche of vynes mooste gracious and meete
At a gret feest him thought that he did see,
And therewithal a gracyous glene of whete,
Token of joye frome the hevenly seete,
Whan God above list frome Jessyes lyne
To make his grace as golde dewe doune to fleete,
To stanche oure venymes wheeche were serpentyne.1

Holly Helyas, by grace that God him sent,
The noble prophete benigne and honurable,
Made strong in spirit fourty dayes wente
In his journey, the brede made him so stable,
Cristallyne water to him so comfortable,
Al his vyage boothe in brede and lenkethe,
A blessid fygure verray coumfortable,
Of the sacrament komethe oure goostly strenkethe.

Zacharye holding there the fayre sensier,
With goostely fumys as any bawme so swoote,
Beo meditacyouns and grete preyer
That uppe ascendithe frome the hertes roote,
Goostely tryacle and oure lyves boote,
Ageynst the sorowes of worldely pestylence,
Alle infect ayres it puttethe under foote
Of hem that take this bred with reverence.

Blessed Baptyst, of clennesse locke and keye,
Mooste devoutly gan marken and declare
With his fingur, whan he seyde Agnus Dei,
Shewing the lambe which caused oure welfare
On Good Frydaye was on the crosse made bare,
And offred up for oure redempcyoun
On Eestre morowe, to stinten al oure care,
Ageynst seeknesse oure restauracyoun.

This holly man, th’evangelist Saint Jehan
Th’appocolips wrote, and eke dranke poysoun,
In Cristes feyth als stable as the stoone,
Aboode with Jhesu in his passyoun;
And for to make a declaracyoun,
O the chalyce patyn a chylde yong of age
Shewed after there the consecracyoun
This brede is he that dyed for oure outrage.

This blessed Mark, resembling the lyoun,
In his gospel parfyte, stable and goode,
Of bred and wyn for confirmacion
On Sherthorsday remembrethe howe it stoode;
Seyde at his souper with a ful blessed moode
To hees discyples, aforne er he arros:
“This bred, my body, this wyne, it is my bloode
Which that for man dyed uppon the crosse.”

Hooly Mathewe this elate gospeller,
Stable, parfyte, and truwe in his entente,
He wrote and seyde, of holy herte and entiere,
Touching this blessed gloryous sacrament:
“This is the chalyce of nuwe testament
That shal beo shadde for many and not for oon,
For Cryste Jhesu was frome his fader sent,
Excepcion noon, but dyen for ech oone.”

Lucas confermethe of this hooly bloode,
T’avoyde aweye al ambeguytee:
“This is my bodye that schal for man beo ded,
Him to delyver frome infernal powstee;
To Jherusalem, th’emperyal citee,
Him to conduyte eternally t’abyde,
Adam oure fader and his posteritee,
By Cryst that suffred a spere to perce his syde.”

Paulus doctor wrytethe in his scripture,
The which affermethe and seythe us truly:
“Yif there beo founden any creature
Which that this bred receyvethe unworthely,
He etethe his doome moste dampnabully,
For which I counseyle, and pleynly thus I mene,
Ech man beo ware to kepe him prudently,
Not to resceive it, but yif he beo clene.”

He that is cleped maystre of sentence,
Sette in a cloude holde here a fresshe ymage,
Remembrethe eeke by gret excellence,
In this mater avoyding al outrage,
Given to man here in oure pilgrymage,
This sacrament after his doctryne
Is Crystis body, repaste of our passage,
By the Hooly Gooste take of a pure virgyne.

The noble clerc, the doctour ful famous,
Wrytethe and recordethe, remembring truly
Geyns heretykes, hoolly Jeronimus,
Howe that this hoost is hole in ech partye
Bothe God and man, Cryste Jhesus verraily,
In eche partycle hoole and undevyded,
This oure byleve and creance feythfully,
Oute of oure hertes alle errours circumcyded.

Moral Gregore, ful weele reherce he can
In his wryting and vertuous doctryne,
This glorious doctour, this parfyte hooly man,
Touching this bred dothe thus determyne,
Howe it is flesshe toke of a pure virgyne.
Geynst al seeknesse our cheef restoratyf,
Oure helth, welfare, richchest medisyn,
This sacrament this blessed bred of lyf.

Blessed Austyne rehersethe in sentence,
“Whan Cryste is ete or resceyved in substaunce,
That lyf is eten of hevenly excellence,
Oure force, oure might, our strenkethe, oure suffisaunce,
Qwykenyng oure herte with al goostly plesaunce,
Repast ay lasting, restoratyf ternal,
And remedy geynst al oure olde grevaunce
Brought ine by byting of an appul smale.”

Ambrosius, with sugerd elloquence,
Wrytethe with his penne and langage laureate,
With Crystis worde substancial in sentence,
“The sacrament is justely consecrate
Oure daily foode, renuwyng oure estate,
Recounseylling us whan we trespas or erre,
And mathe us mighty with Sathan to debate
To wynne tryumphe in al his mortal werre.”

Maistre of storyes, this doctour ful notable,
Holding a chalys here in a sonne clere,
An Ooste aloft gloryous and comendable,
A pytee pleyning with a ful hevy cheere,
With face doune caste, shewing the manere
Of hir compleynte with her pytous looke,
Ellas, she bought hir sones dethe to deere,
Whan he for man the raunsoun on him tooke.

This hoolly Thomas, called of Algwyne,
By hie myracle that sawghe persones three,
An ooste ful rounde, a sunne about it shyne,
Joyned in oon by parfyte unytee,
A gloryous liknesse of the Trynitee,
Gracyous and digne for to beo comended,
With feyth, with hope, with parfyte charitee,
Al oure byleeve is thereinne comprehended.

With theos figures shewed in youre presence,
By divers likenesses you to doo plesaunce,
Resceivethe hem with devoute reverence,
This bred of lyfe yee kepe in remembraunce
Oute of this Egipte of worldely grevaunce,
Youre restoratyf celestyal manna,
Of which God graunt eternal suffysaunce
Where aungels sing everlasting Osanna.

     [Shirley kouthe fynde no more of this copye.
holy feast; celebrate; (see note); (t-note)
spiritual; guide; (see note); (t-note)

to illuminate; (t-note)
fashioned out of likenesses; (see note)
strange signs; (t-note)

mind’s eye; (see note)
(see note)
to end

(see note)

Dyed; (see note)
Maundy Thursday; (t-note)

take special note of this; (t-note)

(see note)

I make mention of; (t-note)

(see note)


chose to show His grace; (see note); (t-note)

(see note); (t-note)
the Holy Ghost; (t-note)
Jesse; (t-note)
Rose; alive; (see note)
[the apostle] Luke

saw; (see note)
(see note)

Host (i.e., eucharistic wafer); seen; (t-note)

public compensation for

Moses; (see note)
like Phebus’ (i.e., the sun’s) beams; (see note)
ark; (see note)


having the quality of; (see note)

spiritual perfection

devil; vanquishes
Christ’s passion; (t-note)

spiritual refreshment

chosen; killed; (see note)

bear; lion; (t-note)

true; his; (t-note)
Philistines; (t-note)

wisdom; (see note)
fortified; red cliff


take heed; (t-note)

(see note)
By prophetic dream; (t-note)
quickly went to work

beaten and sifted

good fortune

(see note); (t-note)
sheaf of wheat
chosen from Jesse’s lineage

Holy; (see note)


breadth and length; (t-note)
spiritual strength; (t-note)

censer; (see note)
balm; sweet; (t-note)
By; (t-note)

medicine; protection

infectious airs

purity; (see note)
began to point out
Lamb of God

Easter morning to put an end to; (t-note)
sickness; restoration; (t-note)

(see note)
The Apocalypse
as solid as a rock
Stayed with

chalice cover; (t-note)

sins; (see note)

(see note)

Maundy Thursday
spirit; (t-note)
(see note)

exalted; (see note)

sincere; (t-note)

new; (t-note)
shed; (t-note)

(see note)
To ward off all doubt

the imperial city
safeguard; to abide

spear; pierce

St. Paul; writes; (see note)
affirms; says

(see note)
eats his fate; damnably; (t-note)

unless he is free of sin

called master of doctrine; (see note)


taken from

cleric; (see note)

Against heretics
complete; (see note)

belief and doctrine; (t-note)
purged; (t-note)

recount; (see note); (t-note)

bread (i.e., the eucharistic wafer)

Against; sickness; chief medicine

Augustine explains in [his] teaching; (see note); (t-note)
eaten; (see note)

strength; livelihood
spiritual joy
ever; eternal; (t-note)

apple; (see note)

sweet rhetoric; (see note)
(see note)
weighty in meaning
(see note)
renewing; condition
makes; (t-note)

(see note); (t-note)
chalice; bright; (t-note)
Host (i.e., the eucharistic wafer); (t-note)
A pietà (sorrow) lamenting; sad mien; (see note); (t-note)
too dear; (t-note)

(see note); (t-note)
saw; (t-note)
one; (t-note)
worthy; (t-note)
faith; (t-note)
belief; (t-note)

(see note); (t-note)
(see note); (t-note)
plenty; (t-note)

could; (t-note)


Go To Soteltes at the Coronation Banquet of Henry VI